Sunday, March 08, 2009

Biblioblog Top 50

I am way behind on mentioning the February Biblioblog Top 50, put together by the artist formerly known as N T Wrong. As usual, it's an interesting read. I am amazed that the NT Gateway blog remained right up there in the top 3 given the general upheaval last month, and the bifurcating of the old blog to create that one and this one. It will, perhaps, be a long time before this blog will grace the Top 50, but who knows what the "Biblical Floccinaucinihilipilification Society" has in store? The one baffling factor remains the absence of Paleojudaica from the list, all the more strange given some of those that are present there.

2 comments:

Mike Heiser said...

How is this list calculated? It's hard to believe I'm up to fourth.

Biblioblog Top 50 said...

Hi Mike,

As the About page explains, the list is calculated from statistics provided by Alexa. We take the statistics for the ranking of total users over the last week, recording it four times a month, spread over the month, which is then averaged. Note: this measures total users, not traffic/hits (they can be significantly different!). As such, it is purely a measure of popularity, not, as we note, of quality.

As far as we can tell, Alexa provides some of the fastest responses to changes in user statistics which are freely available. By contrast, Technorati appears to be slow to respond to change in data. Like all measures, it depends on sampling. But as internal website counters are widely divergent in the number of hits they provide, at least it provides a single basis across all websites.

As Mark points out, the PaleoJudaica results since January (and now, in the first week of March) are the one significant surprise. Yet, we have noted a significant increase in traffic in response to significant Bible and Archaeology News stories, and that could possibly explain the decrease in the last two months. But, PaleoJudaica is currently the one major exception (unfortunately for Jim, who provides a fine Bible and Archaeology news blog). Maybe it is only temporary.

What is good - in that it is an indication of its accuracy - is that Alexa almost immediately picks up major changes to a blog. For example, when Danny Zacharias published his Greek-learning songs last December, he received a significant increase in use, which was immediately picked up. Again, Nijay Gupta's recent parody of 'theological interpretation' appears to have lifted him several places in the last three weeks (and if it continues, he should appear in the Top 50 for March). Likewise, and sadly, when Mark's blog was separated off, it immediately decreased significantly mid-February (offset by large traffic for the NTGateway for the first half of the month). Evangelical Textual Criticism is another biblioblog where our stats seem to match the blog-owners' own recording of significant increase in use (again, see the March 2009 results...).

Of course, the statistics also provide a bit of community amongst bibliobloggers, some tongue-in-cheek fun, and is hopefully a informative source of the many biblioblogs available, too.